Senator Edward Kennedy launched a bitter attack on Monday (28 January) against President Jimmy Carter, has opponent for the 1980 Democratic Presidential nomination.
GV AN SV Senator Edward Kennedy speaking (3 shots)
KENNEDY: "All of us condemn the brutal Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. This wanton act of aggression has aroused the conscience of America, and of all the world. It must be met with an appropriate response by the United States, and all our allies. But is this really the gravest threat to peace since World War Two? Is it a graver threat than the Berlin blockade, the Korean War, the Soviet march into Hungary and Czechoslovakia, the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile crisis, or Vietnam? Exaggeration and hyperbole are the enemies of sensible foreign policy. In the same spirit of realism, we must deal with the crisis in Iran. It is now eighty-six days since our diplomats in our embassy were seized. We cannot afford a policy that seems headed for a situation of permanent hostages. The time has come to speak the truth again. This is a crisis that never should have happened. In the clearest terms, the Administration was warned that the admission of the Shah would provoke retaliation in Teheran. President Carter considered those warnings, and rejected them in secret. He accepted the dubious medical judgment of one doctor, that the Shah could be treated only in the United States. Had he made different decisions, the Shah would doubtless still be in Mexico, and our diplomatic would still be going about their business in Teheran."
Senator Kennedy, in a second on Monday (28 January) to the American Jewish leaders in New York, continued his attack on President Carter. He claimed President Carter had followed an incoherent, inconsistent, insensitive and incompetent Middle East policy. He said Mr Carter had an on-again, off-again flirtation with the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) which, he said, was committed to the destruction of Israel. The Senator warned that a Palestinian State on the West Bank of the Jordan River would become a pro-Soviet state in what he called the energy heartland of the world.
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Background: Senator Edward Kennedy launched a bitter attack on Monday (28 January) against President Jimmy Carter, has opponent for the 1980 Democratic Presidential nomination. He accused President Carter of being weak with the Soviet Union, and of exaggerating the threat posed by the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. Senator Kennedy also lays the blame for the hostage crisis in Iran squarely on the President's shoulders.